HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Jonathan Bernier may be one of the top goaltending prospects in North America, but the rest of the Lewiston Maineiacs had a funny way of showing their appreciation for their No. 1 goalie Wednesday night.

Through two periods of play, Lewiston allowed 36 shots to reach Bernier, more in two periods than in most games this season.

“A lot of them were from the outside, though,” Bernier said. “Those are easier to stop.”

But the rest of the Maineiacs, particularly the defensive corps, was hardly satisfied with that explanation.

“We thought it would be easy, and that the game would be done early,” Maineiacs’ defenseman Kevin Marshall said. “We didn’t play like we can play.”

The Mooseheads finished with 55 shots, the highest total the Maineiacs have allowed this season, and one of the highest in four years.

“We were shooting a lot from everywhere,” Halifax forward Ryan Hillier said. “We were just letting shots go, just getting them on the net. Jonathan Bernier is an excellent goalie, and you have to get a lot of shots to beat him.”

But Bernier was solid, and nearly stole the game for Lewiston. He even earned the first star of the game, as selected by the Halifax media.

“Bernier is a great goalie, and he tried to keep us in the game all three periods,” Marshall said. “We didn’t help him at all, we didn’t do anything to make him look good. We gave him 55 shots. That never happens.”

Perhaps an even more telling statistic, though, was the number of “dangerous shots” the Mooseheads had. A dangerous shot is defined by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as any shot on goal from the middle to low slot, between the faceoff dots. Halifax had 27 of those, too.

“We couldn’t get the puck out of our own end,” Maineiacs coach Clem Jodoin said. “We were giving the puck back to their players and they were getting shots and shots and shots and shots.”

On the other end, Lewiston had a similar number of dangerous shots (22) on far fewer total (32). That number was close to normal. But the disparity between the two numbers has typically been far greater in Lewiston’s favor all season.

“We have to play as a team like we usually do,” Marshall said. “We have to bounce back now.”


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